NH Lakes Region Homes: Q-1 Sales Up, Inventory Down, Home Prices Rising
First quarter regional home sales rose more than 4% year-over-year to 715 closed transactions as new listings declined 24% in the same period, according to the New England Real Estate Network Multiple Listing Service.
Meanwhile, the quarterly year-over-year median home price in Belknap, Carroll and Grafton counties also rose 4% to $189,000, indicating a rise in area home values.
Transacted dollar volume for the quarter increased 9.3% to $182.2 million, compared to the first three months of 2016, another indication that home prices are exceeding the rate of sales, experts say.
“The start of the year ushered in a wave of good news about a hot stock market, higher wages and an active home sales environment”, the New Hampshire REALTORS® wrote in its winter housing report. “At the same time, housing prices have continued to rise, and the low inventory situation and affordability crunch has been particularly hard on first-time buyers struggling to get into the market”.
“Nevertheless, buyer activity is easily outpacing seller activity … culminating in relatively quick sales and low supply”.
In New Hampshire, as in many other regions across the nation, unemployment has reached pre-recession levels and Americans are optimistic about finding quality jobs, which matters in housing markets because job and wage growth fuel home purchases, NHR reported, adding, however, that employment and wage growth may not kick start the housing market today, if rising home prices and mortgage interest rates outpace income growth, as is the current trend.
The fact is “sellers are getting a generous number of offers in this market” but these sellers may find there will be fewer homes from which to choose when they become buyers, wrote NHR.
New listings statewide were down 20.5 percent for single-family homes and 21.0 percent for condo properties, NHR reported. In the three counties covered in this housing report, first quarter new listings fell 24% year-over-year to 1139 units against 715 closings, according to NEREN.
Statistically, homes sold faster compared to the first quarter of 2016 with median days on market declining to 85 days, down 23% from the 110-day first-quarter median a year ago.
In yet another indication of strong demand in a regional market now solidly favoring home sellers, closed transactions, as a percent of new listings, rose 4.5% from January through March to 60% of newly listed properties, compared to 43.7% of newly listed properties in the same three-month period last year, NEREN figures show.
In Belknap County, first quarter single-family and condo sales declined 1.7% year-over-year to 227 transactions, but the pace of sales quickened significantly with the median days on market declining 21% to just 80 days, NEREN figures show. In the same period, the median price of a Belknap County home rose 7.5% to $192,500.
Carroll County homes sold statistically faster than a year ago but sales declined 3% for the quarter to 215 closed transactions, compared to 221 quarterly sales a year earlier, NEREN figures show. Median days on market dropped 13% to 110 days. The median price of a Carroll County home declined to $191,500, down 2% from $195,000 posted for the first quarter of 2016.
Home sales in Grafton County increased nearly 17% to 273 closed transactions, while the pace of sales dropped 18.5% to just 92 days on market. The median home price rose to $172,500, up nearly 5% year-over-year, NEREN figures show.
Are you thinking of selling your home? Recent statistics show that our regional housing market is short on inventory and needs quality homes. This may be a good time to get top dollar for your home and pay real estate commissions as low as 1.5%. Ask me how. Meanwhile, thank you for reading The Winnipesaukee Talkie.